Here are six things to watch for during the Buffalo Bills’ third preseason game of 2022 against the Carolina Panthers:
Last look at Case?
Buffalo Bills quarterback Case Keenum. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that quarterback Josh Allen will not play against the Panthers. Additionally, “most” starters aren’t going to, either.
This could be the last time Buffalo gets a look at Case Keenum playing at quarterback. That is, if all goes according to plan in 2022…
Final roster push for Isaiah Hodgins
Buffalo Bills’ Isaiah Hodgins. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
On offense, the name being watched heavily this summer has been Isaiah Hodgins. After injury derailed his first two years in the NFL, Hodgins is having a good summer now that he’s healthy.
But the wideout will have to show something against the Panthers if he’s going to take a final roster spot in Buffalo. The Bills usually require their bubble players to contribute on special teams and Hodgins doesn’t do much there.
That might be a deciding factor in his fate.
Baker & Sam
Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers and Baker Mayfield #6. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Fun: The Bills will face two players that Allen was compared to a lot early in his career: Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
Mayfield was named the starter and he’ll play until the second quarter. Then Darnold will be in.
Enjoy those memories, Buffalo. So much has changed since 2019.
Depth running back success to continue?
Buffalo Bills running back Raheem Blackshear (35) (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
Throughout the first two weeks of the preseason, depth running backs have played really well for the Bills. That includes veteran Duke Johnson and undrafted rookie Raheem Blackshear.
The offensive line deserves their share of credit. But these two might have found themselves spots on other teams. In the end, that could be bad news for the Bills–But it’d still be nice to see.
What does 'most' mean?
Buffalo Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam (24). (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
As referenced, McDermott said almost all starters won’t play against the Panthers. That left wiggle room.
So which “starters” could actually play? Signs point toward rookie cornerbacks Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford. Through the first two weeks of the season, the first rounder and sixth-round pick, respectively, have rotated in and out.
Test not over for Araiza
Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
Well things took a twist here. Not only is this going to be Araiza’s first game as the starting punter for the Bills… his lawsuit now looms.